K400m lost through illegal fishing


ABOUT US$152 million (K497 million) is lost from illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Association (FFA), which Papua New Guinea is a sizable member of.
Maritime security and transnational crime was also another concern in the region, according to the regional monitoring control and surveillance strategy 2018-2023 document that was released last week by FFA. The document said despite significant progress in the last five years, “illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing still exists in Pacific tuna fisheries”.
“The 2016 IUU quantification report estimated the value of total product either harvested or transshipped involving IUU activity in Pacific tuna fisheries at US$616.11 million (K2 billion) with a potential economic loss to FFA Members of US$152.67 million (K499 million) per year,” it said.
“This IUU fishing is mostly driven by licensed vessels.
“Over 95 per cent of the total estimated volume and value of IUU activity primarily relates to under-reporting, misreporting and non-reporting.
“Therefore, an important focus of this strategy is on improving levels of compliance amongst licensed fleets. “In addition to IUU fishing, Pacific Island countries also face threats to maritime security resulting from transnational crime.
“This necessitates increased maritime awareness across the region and further strengthens FFA members’ resolve to facilitate national and regional cooperation.
“Through this refined and targeted approach, FFA members can focus on addressing the most-relevant IUU risks.
“The design and implementation of an ambitious, yet achievable strategy will both maintain and enhance national and regional capabilities and further reduce IUU fishing.
“The success of this strategy is reliant upon targeted and effective national implementation, coupled with streamlined regional collaboration and cooperation.”